San Francisco Giants make a couple of unexpected spring training cuts

San Francisco Giants (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
San Francisco Giants (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants have made their first round of spring training cuts and the list of 17 players featured a few notable and surprising names.

The San Francisco Giants officially announced the first round of cuts from their spring training roster on Friday morning to trim the roster down from 72 players to 55. And among those cuts were a few notable players who Giants fans will recognize.

With the coaching staff looking to use more of the every-day starters as we get closer to Opening Day, the Giants made the decision to re-assign any player who they didn’t feel had a legitimate shot of making the roster.

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But among those who were cut, a few names stand out as true surprises.

2015 first-round pick Chris Shaw was expected to compete for one of the Giants’ outfield spots but was unexpectedly optioned to the minors weeks before Opening Day.

Shaw made his MLB debut back in 2018 but surprisingly started the 2019 season in Double-A before eventually making his way back to the majors in September. However, the 26-year-old struggled in limited playing time once he was called-up again.

His poor defense holds him back and clearly he wasn’t able to distinguish himself as a good enough hitter to compensate for his lackluster fielding ability.

Meanwhile, November waiver-wire pickup Kean Wong was also among those optioned to the minors after the 24-year-old had put together a very solid camp so far.

Wong spent last season with the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels and was expected to compete for a backup role in the infield. He bats from the left-side and could play pretty much everywhere in the infield making his demotion a somewhat surprising one.

Manager Gabe Kapler had the following to say about Wong’s demotion.

"“One of the things that we talked to Kean about was when he’s taking ground balls with the best major league infielders around, he’s just a step behind those guys. [He has to] work on dominating his at-bats at the minor league level, and he’s committed to doing those things.”"

On top of that, hard-throwing right-hander Jandel Gustave was a shocking early cut after the 27-year-old entered camp with a small chance of earning the closer role. However, after a disappointing start, Gustave was optioned quickly.

The former Houston Astros reliever had made three appearances this spring allowing three runs in two innings pitched. Kapler noted that Gustave needed to work on developing a secondary pitch before he could be given another chance in the majors.

Still, his 2.96 ERA in 24.1 innings pitched last season should earn him another shot before long.

A full list of each player who was re-assigned to minor league camp could be seen below followed by the remaining seven players who were optioned to the minors.

Of those, left-handers Sam Selman and Conner Menez are a little surprising and those demotions seem to indicate that 27-year-old Jarlin Garcia could have a roster spot locked up given the Giants’ lack of southpaws in the bullpen.

Right-hander Melvin Adon is another name to watch for as the 25-year-old remains one of the Giants’ most promising relievers in the minors. Clearly, Kapler and company didn’t think he actually stood a chance of making the final roster, however.

With plenty of more cuts to be made, the Giants still have their work cut out for them as they prepare to finalize their Opening Day roster in the coming weeks.

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And if the first round of cuts is any indication, that should prove to be a very challenging proposition.